Have you ever been surrounded by a life that only brings you pain and sorrow? While searching for hope and restoration, it leaves you with the conclusion that nothing is worth striving for tomorrow. Everywhere you turn, someone is losing a life; every option you perceive brings only pain and strife. You've heard of a hidden valley, starlit skies and a peace that stretches beyond the horizon. You've dreamed of peaceful meadows, raspberry smiles and a sun that seems to keep rising. You, the chosen one to rise from your so-called ghetto, search for ways to reach that hidden, green-grassed meadow.
In the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou articulates the adventure of tragedy and triumph she faced throughout her life. She embraces the sweet simplicity of her mother's words of wisdom, which help mold her life out of the root of all complication. Maya Angelou liberates the reader simply by confronting her own life with a captivating wonder and luminous dignity. It not only tells of her suffering, but it quietly and gracefully portrays and pays tribute to the courage and endurance of the many silent (but respected) leaders by whom she is surrounded. By their simple words, touches of encouragement and gazing stares, she knows that she is their hope, their proverb, their cry for help. She knows that she is their ebony woman to overcome their rising hell. She perseveres through dark times by not settling for the forgotten penny that lies in the wishing well.
I walk down a road of deceit and despair, knowing there's light behind this burgundy veil. Let the ballads of this novel move your soul - let it bring peace to your mind in hopes of making you whole. Let the testimony of her life be the song in your heart and from the inspiration it gives you, you will never part.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.